Takeaways from Kentucky's 91-49 win over Eastern Kentucky!!!!!
Kentucky did not show a letdown at all after beating #1 Michigan State on Tuesday. Here are the takeaways:
Six players in double figures. Great balance.
Nick Richards had a monster game on both ends tonight. He played well defensively vs the Spartans in the first game. Tonight he had 21 points 10 rebounds and 4 blocks. A double/double against players 5 inches shorter then he, but this does a lot for his confidence. He does not look like the timid Nick we saw the first two seasons. The junior looks confident with his low post moves, especially the running hook in the lane in the 2nd half. He was MVP tonight.
Immanuel Quickley was very good again with a career high 16 points and 5 assists tonight on 7 for 7 from the free throw line. The sophomore is more confident, shooting the shots he's supposed to shoot, and passing the ball for buckets in transition. He only had one turnover but is not playing passive, he's very aggressive and more sure with everything on the court this year as a sophomore.
Tyrese Maxey did not have 26 points tonight like he did vs Michigan State. He barely shot the ball in the first half, content with getting his teammates involved and running the offense. He did what was needed in this game and was a team player. He had 9 points 3 rebounds 3 assists on 5 for 5 from the free throw line. He turned the ball over too much in the first half but settled down in the 2nd half and was more aggressive. A stud.
Ashton Hagans did a great job of breaking the press tonight. He still needs to work on his three point shooting and not hesitating to shoot from out there. He did get great penetration and set up his teammates very well. He had 11 points 7 rebounds 5 assists and 3 steals. Let's hope he recovers from his leg injury and get 100% healthy.
Kahlil Whitney had 11 points 2 rebounds and very good on the ball defense. He still has to be a little more aggressive on the offensive end of the court. He still is trying to get comfortable in this area, but it's great to see the defense.
Nate Sestina had 12 points 11 rebounds 2 assists and 2 steals for a double/double. He's looking better and better by the game playing at this level. He has no hesitation shooting the ball, he's hitting the boards very well, and showing the leadership a graduate transfer should have. A glue guy that is key to this team.
Speaking of glue guy that would be Keion Brooks Jr. He does a little bit of everything and crashed the boards hard a couple of time tonight. He ended up with 11 points 8 rebounds tonight. He hit mid range shots and has the ability to hit the three. He has to do way better from the free throw line. He was 1 for 6 tonight. Unacceptable but as I said he's a great all-around player.
It's unfathomable that Johnny Juzang has not scored a point as a Wildcat after two games. The Coaches have to find a way to get him some shots when he's on the floor. He seems out of sorts getting used to coming off the bench. It is not as easy as Tyrese Maxey made it the other night to come off the bench on fire. He had 7 rebounds which was great but 0 for 4 from the field and 0 for 2 from three. It will come for him though, he's too good a shooter to stay in this funk.
Synopsis: This team has a long way to go, but they are a National Title contender for sure. EJ Montgomery did not play tonight because of an ankle injury suffered in the Michigan State game. We have to do better as a team from the free throw line(21 for 32) and too many turnovers(18). I feel this will be cleaned up but we have to get our guards(Maxey,Quickley,Hagans,Juzang) to the free throw line. Looks like the Bigs will struggle and that has to be fixed. Kentucky is 2-0 and will be ranked #1 next week, though it would be great to be in that position in April 2020.